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Street Cart Chicken* with Chickpea Salad

Active Time: 30 minutes / Cook Time: 20 minutes / Total Time: 45 minutes, plus overnight marinating time for the chicken

Makes 4 servings

*This is a riff on a recipe by Deb Perelman, who is riffing on the halal street carts in New York City. Play around with spices and make it your own!

Street Cart Chicken w Chickpea Salad.JPG


  • For the chicken:
    • Juice of ½ a lemon
    • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
    • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • ¾ teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
    • pinch of ground cloves
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
    • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
    • ½ tablespoon coconut oil, plus more if needed
  • For the salad:
    • 1/2 cup whole milk plain yogurt, dairy or non-dairy
    • juice of ½ a lemon
    • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
    • ½ teaspoon cumin
    • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
    • 1 cup chickpeas, rinsed, drained, and patted dry
    • ½ red bell pepper, chopped
    • ½ small cucumber, peeled and chopped (about ½-3/4 cup)
  • To serve:
    • 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
    • ¼ cup diced onion, from 1 small (preferably red or white)
    • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
    • hot sauce, to taste (optional)


  1. In a container with a lid, large enough to hold the chicken, whisk together the lemon juice and next 8 ingredients (through melted coconut oil). Add the chicken, flip around to coat, put the lid on the container and refrigerate overnight (this can marinate for up to 2 days).
  2. Heat ½ tablespoon coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Discard garlic and place chicken thighs in a single layer, without touching (you may have to do this in batches) and cook on the first side until it is browned, about 6-8 minutes. Flip and brown the second side, 5-6 minutes longer. Repeat with additional chicken, if necessary. 
  3. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside while you make the salad. The chicken may not be fully cooked, which is okay.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, turmeric, cumin, and salt. Add the chickpeas, bell pepper, and cucumber and toss to combine.
  5. Place 1 ½ cups romaine lettuce on each of 2 plates. Top each with ¼ of the chickpea salad. Set aside.
  6. Return the skillet for the chicken to medium-high and add additional coconut oil, if necessary. Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the skillet. Cook, stirring, until the chicken is fully cooked, 3-5 minutes.
  7. Add ¼ of the chicken on top of the chickpea salad on each plate. Sprinkle with onion, cilantro, mint, and hot sauce, if using, and serve.
  8. Package remaining lettuce, chickpea salad, chicken, and toppings in airtight containers for lunch tomorrow. Store in the refrigerator until needed. The chicken is delicious cold, so it doesn’t need to be reheat.